Saturday, May 11, 2013

Great Grandfather's Journal

Scrapbook Journal Book of Charles Edward Stewart 

Great Grandfather's Newspaper Scrapbook Journal

With all this discussion about other types of evidence, including newspapers, I thought it might be important to note that my maternal great grandfather, Charles Edward Stewart, kept a scrapbook journal during his teen years. As a young genealogist, I didn't know this book existed.

It must have come to my parent's house when my grandmother turned eighty and moved in my my mother. An addition was built onto my parent's house which consisted of a bedroom-sitting room and a bathroom. When I sold my parent's house, I was amused to see it was advertised as the master bedroom suite.

One day, my mother showed me this journal. She claimed to have read it through at least twice. As she was not interested in history, I was surprised. She let me take it. I spent some time carefully reading each page and I photocopied all the pages with family stories that appeared in it plus the announcements of marriages and deaths. I made several copies of those pages and scanned them all.

I donated the journal to the North Stonington Historical Society because so much of it was about weather and local farm reports. If anyone was doing a study of that area, they might need this information. I am a life member of this organization. (Thanks, Gladys Chase!)

I don't know what newspapers this journal covered. It is not chronological. I think that the family Bible must have contained clippings that Charlie put in his journal or that were found by his Denison mother, Eliza Fish Denison Stewart. 

The journal itself was probably left over from his father's general store or by the store in Mystic that his mother's brother owned and operated. Paper may have been expensive but judging from census and tax records, this family could afford this. Great Grandfather, Charlie went to private schools during the majority of time this journal was kept which was 1873 to 1874 when Charlie was 14 to 15 years old. It may have been a school assignment.

 One story is about a sea voyage and I will have to research it further. But for now, I turned to an interesting book titled, Writing With Scissors by by Ellen Gruber Garvey which I heard about from fellow blogger, Erica Voolich. (Thanks, Erica). The copy I am reading is a library book so I will have to purchase it to learn more about this interesting topic.

"Clipping and saving the contents of periodicals in scrapbooks is a form of active reading that shifts the line between reading and writing." ( Chapter 1: Reuse, Recycle and Recirculate p. 47)

So, in addition to making sure these pages become part of my family history, I am going to have to try to determine the source of the clipped articles, aren't I?

1 comment:

Erica said...

Love your discovery and glad you've gotten the Writing with Scissors book -- I've been enjoying it.